August 5, 2019: I Heart K-POP
First, we peer back at the moment when poking into the private lives of political figures became standard practice in the American media. In 1987, Gary Hart was a young charismatic Democrat, poised to win his party’s nomination and possibly the presidency. Many of us know the story of what happened next, and even if you don’t, it’s a familiar tale. But at the time, politicians and political reporters found themselves in uncharted territory. With help from author Matt Bai, we look at how the events of that May shaped the way we cover politics, and expanded our sense of what’s appropriate when it comes to judging a candidate.
Then, we travel to South Korea where the first-ever paparazzi photos turned the world of K‑pop upside down and introduced sort of a puzzle …
A global juggernaut, K‑Pop garners billions in sales and millions of fans hanging on every note, watching K‑pop idols synchronize and strut. And that fame rests on a fantasy, K‑pop stars have to be chaste and pure, but also … available. Until recently, Korean music agencies and K‑pop fans held their pop stars to a strict set of rules designed to keep that fantasy alive. That is, until Dispatch showed up.
Taking a cue from American and British paparazzi, a group of South Korean reporters started hiding in their cars and snapping photos of stars on their secret dates. Which raises the question: how much do you want to know about the people you idolize, and when is enough enough?